• The Lakers (24-34) head to Sacramento on Saturday to take on the Kings (18-40).

    Sacramento is tied for the fewest wins in the league, but is coming off a tightly contested outing against the Oklahoma City Thunder, eventually falling 110-107 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Russell Westbrook.

    The rest of their season will be focused on developing their young players such as Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein, De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdonovic, while also fostering a competitive edge and sound basketball culture.

    That being said, in their last game they were led by wily veteran Zach Randolph, who poured in 29 points and 12 rebounds on 12-of-23 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from downtown. The Lakers will need to pay close attention to him as he was vital to the Kings’ home victory over the Lakers earlier in the season.

    The Lakers are coming off a well-played game in which they crushed the Dallas Mavericks 124-102. Los Angeles, one of the best interior scoring teams in the league, outscored the Mavericks 62-26 in the paint. They had strong performances all around but were led by Julius Randle, who collected his fifth career triple-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

    Los Angeles was bolstered by the return of No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball, who contributed nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in only 17 minutes. He is not expected to play on Saturday as part of a planned day of rest as he recovers from a sprained MCL that had sidelined him since January 13. His absence means that fans will not have the opportunity to watch him duel with Fox, the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft.

    However, the game is not without dramatic flair as Isaiah Thomas returns to Sacramento, the team that drafted him with the last overall pick in the 2011 draft. The Lakers recently acquired Thomas from the Cleveland Cavaliers in a trade deadline deal. He is still rounding in to shape as he recovers from a hip injury suffered during last year’s playoffs, when he was still a member of the Boston Celtics. He is coming off of his best game as a Laker (also his first game in front of the home crowd and first victory) in which he scored 17 points to go with four assists, two rebounds and two steals. Thomas is improving in each game as he becomes more acclimated schematically to his new team. He has shown particularly strong chemistry with young Laker big man Ivica Zubac — their growing connection, especially in the pick and roll, is something to keep an eye on in this contest.

    Key Stats

    – The Lakers score 107.6 points per game (10th) compared to the Kings, who are last in the league, scoring only 98.8 points per game.

    – Los Angeles also has a large rebounding advantage on the season with 46.5 rebounds per game (2nd) vs. 40.4 rebounds per game (29th) for Sacramento. The Lakers are coming off a game in which they were particularly dominant on the glass, outrebounding the Mavericks 69-37.

    -The two teams have very different strengths on offense. The Lakers excel at scoring in the paint, leading the league with 53.7 points in the paint per game while the Kings average 43.5 points per game in the paint (17th). The Kings forte lies in their 3-point shooting where they knock down 38.3 percent of their attempts vs. the Lakers who convert 33.4 percent (29th) from downtown.

    – These teams are extremely different in their style of play — the Lakers lead the league in pace with 103.07 possessions per 48 minutes while the Kings are near the bottom in that metric with 97.30 possessions per 48 minutes (26th).

    -Both teams struggle to convert their attempts from the free throw line with the Lakers shooting an abysmal 69.7 percent (30th) and Sacramento making 72.4 percent (28th) of their free throws.

    Projected Starting Lineups

    Lakers

    Brandon Ingram (PG)

    Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (SG)

    Josh Hart (SF)

    Julius Randle (PF)

    Brook Lopez (C)

    Kings

    De’Aaron Fox (PG)

    Bogdan Bogdanovic (SG)

    Justin Jackson (SF)

    Zach Randolph (PF)

    Willie Cauley-Stein (C)

    Injury Report

    Lakers

    Lonzo Ball (rest/MCL sprain) – OUT

    Channing Frye (appendectomy) – OUT

    Kings

    Iman Shumpert (foot) – OUT

    Kosta Koufos (illness) – QUESTIONABLE

    Skal Labissiere (shoulder) – PROBABLE

    De’Aaron Fox (pink eye) – PROBABLE

    Broadcast Information

    Time: 7:00 PM PST, 10:00 PM EST

    Television: NBCSCA, SPECSN/SPECD

    Radio: KHTK SPORTS 1140 AM, 710 AM ESPN, 1330 AM ESPN DEPORTES

Fantasy News

  • Trevon Bluiett
    PF, Utah Jazz

    Trevon Bluiett and Juwan Morgan sign with the Jazz in the hopes of one day playing in an NBA game.

    Bluiett was on a two-way contract with the Pelicans last season while Juwan Morgan played for the Jazz in the 2019 Summer League. They will both compete for a roster spot in training camp but neither is a guarantee to make the final roster. They both have yet to see the court in an NBA game and can be ignored from a fantasy perspective until that day comes.

    Source: Tony Jones on Twitter

  • Zach Collins
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Zach Collins (ankle) began daily contact workouts on Monday and is on pace to head into training camp fully healthy.

    Collins is heading into what could be a breakout season as he is likely to start at the power forward position. In the 2019 playoffs, the Gonzaga product blocked a shot in 11 of the 16 games including three games in which he blocked three, four and five respectively. Collins has averaged around 33% from distance throughout his career which is exactly what he shot in the postseason (7-21). If he is able to improve from long range and plays starters minutes, Collins is a can't-miss player. It's far from a guarantee though as the 21-year-old has never finished with standard-league value. It does seem like Collins will be ready for training camp barring a major setback.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Cory Joseph
    PG, Sacramento Kings

    Nick Nurse said that reports of Cory Joseph missing the FIBA World Cup are “incorrect”.

    Nurse added that he spoke to Joseph on Wednesday and that the guard has his flights booked to China. Joseph was in Canada’s camp at home earlier this month, but did not make the trip to Australia and has missed the past four exhibition games. The situation has become a little bit murky but Canada Basketball keeps holding out hope that Joseph will rejoin the team before they depart for China, which doesn’t happen until Monday.

    Source: John Casey on Twitter

  • Tyronn Lue
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Shams Charania of The Athletic is reporting former Cavs championship-winning coach Tyronn Lue has agreed to join the Clippers as their top assistant coach to Doc Rivers.

    The Lakers and Clippers rivalry continues to heat up. Lue was very close to a deal with the Lakers in May to become their head coach, but the sides couldn’t reach an agreement. Lue now joins Kawhi Leonard as another person to spurn the Lakers this offseason.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • PJ Tucker
    SF, Houston Rockets

    P.J. Tucker says he is optimistic about signing a contract extension soon.

    The 34-year-old 3-and-D wing hopes to extend his deal with the Rockets, but a potential extension wouldn't begin until his age-36 season. Houston has him under contract for two more seasons at this point, so they may not be motivated enough to get something done this offseason. However, a maximum Tucker extension would only have him in the $10 million per year range. Even as a 37-year-old, that could be a great deal if he can keep up his current production. Tucker remains a sneaky source of threes and steals late in fantasy drafts or off the wire.

    Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter

  • Jaylen Adams
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    The Bucks officially announced the signings of guards Jaylen Adams and Rayjon Tucker on Tuesday.

    Adams and Tucker have their work cut out for them in their bid to claim a roster with the big club, as the Bucks have a reasonably deep guard rotation. Adams and Tucker are more than likely competing to get playing time in the G-League this season and can be ignored in fantasy.

    Source: NBA

  • Jeff Ledbetter
    G, San Antonio Spurs

    The Spurs have offered summer league guard Jeff Ledbetter an Exhibit 10 deal, but he is still mulling over his options which include playing in Europe.

    Ledbetter had a productive summer league and now finds himself with a chance to play for the Austin Spurs of the G-League. Ledbetter is sure to be staring at a bigger payday in Europe, so his choice will be an interesting one. We should have a decision soon.

    Source: Nicola Lupo on Twitter

  • Eric Mika
    C, Sacramento Kings

    The Kings announced on Tuesday that they signed summer league standout C Eric Mika to an exhibit 10 contract.

    The former BYU big man is now set up to play for the Stockton Kings of the G-League. The Kings have a deep big man rotation, and it's unlikely that we'll see much, if any, of Mika on the roster this season.

    Source: Sean Cunningham on Twitter

  • JA Morant
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Ja Morant (right knee) said that he is completely healed from the minor knee surgery earlier this summer, saying he is "100 percent right now."

    Morant will look to get back into the swing of things in the coming weeks as he prepares for his rookie season. Morant has the talent and the role on rebuilding team and is undoubtedly going to cost a pretty penny in fantasy drafts.

    Source: Peter Edmiston on Twitter

  • Derrick Alston
    Team, New York Knicks

    The Westchester Knicks have named Derrick Alston as the new head coach, replacing Mike Miller who was promoted to join David Fizdale’s staff.

    Alston, a former NBA player, has been an assistant for Westchester for four years. Before that, Alston was a player development coach with the Rockets. This will be Alston’s first head coaching gig as he continues to move up the ladder.

    Source: Ian Begley on Twitter